A black Labrador Retriever mix saved his guardian's life by pulling away a deadly cottonmouth snake that was about to to bite her foot. Gudrun Mastriano and her dog Dante were walking in a park near downtown Kissimmee, Florida when she noticed a short fat snake right in front of her. Without hesitating, Dante pulled the snake away from her before it could strike. Instead, the snake turned on Dante. "It turned around and went viciously after Dante," Gudrun told ABC Action News. "Bit him in the snout and bit him in the foot."
Dante was bitten three times, and almost immediately, Dante's body began to react to the venom. His paws swelled up and his head became enormous. The poison was killing him rapidly. He was rushed to an animal hospital and given antivenom and blood transfusions, and his three wounds were treated.
Fortunately, he was also the first dog to receive special oxygenated treatment in a newly installed hyperbaric chamber at the SPCA animal hospital in Lakeland. The chamber was installed just last week and helps heal damaged cells caused by poisons such as snake venom. Dante received several sessions which have helped him heal dramatically. Although Dante will have spots around his neck and feet with necrosis (tissue death), the hyperbaric chamber will help minimize the damage. Dante will have battle scars from his run in with the cottonmouth, but he will be forever a hero in the eyes of his guardian.
"It could have been me," Gudrun said. "Dante came in front of me and pulled the snake away. He saved me."